On 13 June in Amsterdam, the European Trade Union Confederation and other stakeholders signed the “Joint initiative on standardization” initiated by the European Commission.
This is a voluntary and non-binding initiative designed to encourage public-private partnerships in European standardization, via a programme of activities for the coming four years.
The document consists of two parts. The first part defines a joint vision for European standardization and reasserts the need for an inclusive standardization system, aligned on the legal framework provided by the European Regulation on Standardization (1025/2012). The second part proposes concrete measures, to be implemented by a future management committee. The latter could meet for the first time on World Standards Day, on 14 October.
With this Initiative, the European Commission reasserts the “New Approach” adopted in 1985, but above all it extends it to services. “Services do not yet have the same smoothness of movement as products within the European internal market. Voluntary standardization is called on to help remedy this, in a multi-partnership approach”, comments Pascal Poupet, head of the international affairs department at AFNOR Normalisation, who took part in producing the draft document on behalf of AFNOR.
The signature of this initiative took place at a conference organized under the Dutch presidency of the EU which closed a series of 20 workshops organized by the Commission since the end of 2015 on the theme of improving the single market.